I love rye bread. There’s nothing quite like a grilled cheese sandwich on good rye bread. This is a simple rye bread. It doesn’t have the whistles and bells of a pumpernickel, but if you’re craving a bread where you can just enjoy the taste of rye with caraway seeds, this is the bread for you. It contains no added sugar or anything super fancy. It’s just a simple rye bread.
1.5 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for work surface
1.5 cups rye flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
All-purpose flour, semolina flour, corn meal, or wheat bran (for sprinkling on the towel)
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, and caraway seeds. Add the water and stir until combined. You can mix it with a spoon, but I prefer to get in there with my hands. The dough will be very sticky and a bit shaggy.
Coat the inside of a large bowl with olive oil (or just spray it with non-stick spray if no one is looking), and place the ball of dough in the bowl.
Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be touching the dough; this will keep the surface of the dough from drying. I also like to put a second sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the bowl just to make sure everything stays well covered during rising.
Let dough rest at least 12 hours, but preferably up to 18, in a room about 70 degrees in temperature. The dough's surface will be dotted with holes when dough is ready.
Lightly flour work surface. Place dough on work surface and sprinkle with more flour. The may be a bit wet. Fold the dough over on itself once or twice.
Sprinkle a non-terry cloth towel with all-purpose flour, semolina flour, corn meal, or wheat bran. Shape the dough into a round shape and place the dough in the center of the towel seam side down. Cover the dough with a second towel.
Let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
After about 1 1/2 hours, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot, such as a Dutch oven, in oven as it heats (you don't have to put the lid on the pan while it is heating). When dough has fully risen, carefully remove pot from oven, and roll the dough out of the towel and into the pan. It might sizzle a little. Put the lid on the pot and return it to the oven.
After 30 minutes, remove the lid of the Dutch oven to allow the bread to brown. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.